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Thread: Stadium upgrade could be done in 18 months, claims mayor

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    Veteran Swee_82's Avatar
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    Stadium upgrade could be done in 18 months, claims mayor

    Despite a global financial crisis, a player mutiny and another stadium in Perth demanding a billion dollars of government funds, Mayor of Vincent Nick Catania has boldly predicted the Western Force could have a new home, seating 25,000, within 18 months.

    Force fans sent a massive message to the state's sporting and political leaders last Friday, with around 18,000 packing Members Equity Stadium for a trial game against the Crusaders, despite most of the side's international stars sitting the game out.

    The timing of the sellout was perfect for the club, who had used the fixture to lobby the state government on plans to increase capacity from 18,000 to 25,000 - if Colin Barnett's administration accepts a $75 million redevelopment proposal.

    And unveiling plans for a three-tier grandstand on the eastern side of the ground, Catania told gathered dignitaries, including state and federal MPs, that if the money was there, his council would deliver the upgrade in a year and a half - if the state government came to the party.


    "Anyone who has dealt with it will know when we say we will deliver we do, and we intend to deliver 25,144 seats with the help of the state government," Catania said.

    "With the proper management of funds we can ensure no burden is placed on government, we can create about 200 jobs on site and about 1,000 jobs off site, and that helps in tough economic times.

    "We can help, sport, help the community and help the economy by creating immediate jobs.

    "And you may not believe that (we can finish it in 18 months) but we built the original in about 11 months and had it open in 15. We will deliver."

    Such is Force fan dissatisfaction with Subiaco Oval, RugbyWA's board has already committed to move to Members Equity next season, despite it being too small for expected crowds, and not having corporate or media facilities needed for Super 14.

    The Force believe they need a revamped rectangular stadium to secure their place in the WA sporting landscape - and the Super 14 competition - with the Victorian Government forging ahead with a $275 million project ahead of an expected aggressive bid for a Super 14 franchise.

    "This is something the fans and the supporters are demanding, and is needed to ensure the future growth and development of rugby in this state," RugbyWA chairman Geoff Stooke said.

    "We strongly believe Perth needs and serves a quality rectangular stadium for rugby union, soccer and rugby league.

    "And it should be remembered that Melbourne has the MCG, Telstra Dome and they are currently spending $275m on a rectangular stadium adjacent to the MCG - for a Storm rugby league team which averages crowds of less than 10,000 and no representative rugby union team.

    "They are suffering like every other state and commonwealth in regards funding … but the Victorian government has decided to spend, and hopefully our government sees it the same way."

    Sports minister Terry Waldron said he would be speaking to premier Barnett and treasurer Troy Buswell about the proposals this week - but would need much more detail before a decision is made.

    "We recognise there is a need for a new stadium … but with the current world conditions the government is considering all infrastructure over $20 million," Waldron said.

    "We will look at the proposal put forward, and it will be considered along with the other infrastructure projects.

    "If government were going to consider to Member's Equity Stadium, we will still be looking for quite a lot more detail than what we were given the other day.

    "We have got no details of costings, and if government was to spend money there we have got make sure the i's are dotted and t's crossed. But we are not going to turn a blind eye."

    Waldron said a decision on the Subiaco development would have to be made by the time the May budget came down - and a delay of that project could mean the plans for the former Perth Oval could still be considered.

    "Everyone is assuming (the Subiaco Oval redevelopment) is not going ahead - that decision has not been made yet," Waldron told radio 6PR.

    "If that stadium was delayed, I have been keen to look at what could happen at Members Equity Stadium because I am very cogniscent of the needs of rugby and soccer.

    "With the possibility of it being delayed you may look at what else you could do in the meantime."

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    Player unipirate's Avatar
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    Well that would be damn nice indeed!!! Still don't think 25000 is enough right? Yet it is better than 18000!!! here is hoping!!

    Also don't really like this whole "player mutiny" stuff going on still!!!!!!

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    I vote - GIVE US A RECTANGLE STADIUM!!!!!!

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    Veteran Swee_82's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unipirate View Post

    Also don't really like this whole "player mutiny" stuff going on still!!!!!!
    There are no words for how ridiculous dragging 'player mutiny' into a story predominantly about Nick Catania is.

    But yay, someone is actually asking questions of the government directly relating to rectangular stadiums, rather than the Albino Pachyderm or Subi Bodge-Job.

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    Champion MI5_Dog's Avatar
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    It's also nice to see the article is mentioning that this will create 1200 jobs in times of an economic downturn.

    What else exactly is our government doing to ensure job creation in these hard times other than ... oh I don't know... nothing.

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    Champion MI5_Dog's Avatar
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    OK the last line in the article has me seeing red

    ""Everyone is assuming (the Subiaco Oval redevelopment) is not going ahead - that decision has not been made yet," Waldron told radio 6PR.

    "If that stadium was delayed, I have been keen to look at what could happen at Members Equity Stadium because I am very cogniscent of the needs of rugby and soccer.

    "With the possibility of it being delayed you may look at what else you could do in the meantime." (emphasis mine)

    What we can do in the meantime?
    what a w4nk3r!

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    MI5, it's an improvement on nothing being done! Catania has made a point in emphasising the jobs that would come out of this, important in todays political climate

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    Senior Player BaldCunus's Avatar
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    Interesting article... makes me think as to whether we will actually see force at ME in 2010... If all things go well and state government puts up the cash in May Budget and work can start immediately then looking at construction going 18mnths if Catania is correct so that would take us to November 2010. Would Force play at a construction site which most likely have reduced capcaity then current during construction???

    In saying that to get a upgrade at ME to 25000 and a permanent home for rugby I am more then happy to struggle through 2010 at Subi?

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    Immortal jargan83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unipirate View Post
    Well that would be damn nice indeed!!! Still don't think 25000 is enough right? Yet it is better than 18000!!! here is hoping!!
    Whilst it isn't the 35,000 that RugbyWA originaly said they needed, it would accomodate all but one of the last years crowds

    Quote Originally Posted by BunnoBarbarians View Post
    In saying that to get a upgrade at ME to 25000 and a permanent home for rugby I am more then happy to struggle through 2010 at Subi?
    You would say that if something comes through they would stay at Subi for ONE more year. I wonder what the negotiations with the WAFC would resemble for that year

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    Player unipirate's Avatar
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    Negotiations

    Quote Originally Posted by jargan83 View Post
    I wonder what the negotiations with the WAFC would resemble for that year
    Well it would go something like this,

    WAFC - So you want to renew for only one year?
    WF - Yes!
    WAFC - Well could you please bend over so we can put this pineapple somewhere dark!

    Oh they won't screw over WA rugby at all!!!!! It won't be pretty I can imagine!!!!

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    I vote - GIVE US A RECTANGLE STADIUM!!!!!!

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    Veteran Swee_82's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unipirate View Post
    Well it would go something like this,

    WAFC - So you want to renew for only one year?
    WF - Yes!
    WAFC - Well could you please bend over so we can put this pineapple somewhere dark!

    Oh they won't screw over WA rugby at all!!!!! It won't be pretty I can imagine!!!!
    I suspect it'd be more like one of those trees that look like a pineapple, and you'd need the jaws of life to remove it.

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    Immortal jargan83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unipirate View Post
    WAFC - So you want to renew for only one year?
    WF - Yes!
    WAFC - Well could you please bend over so we can put this pineapple somewhere dark!
    Probably, but you never know. Would RugbyWA be in a better position to bargain or a worse one?

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    Player unipirate's Avatar
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    You would think worse wouldn't you!!

    WAFC would turn around and say where else you going to play then hey!!!!!!

    Got rugbyWA by short and curlies really!!!!

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    I vote - GIVE US A RECTANGLE STADIUM!!!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by BunnoBarbarians View Post
    ...makes me think as to whether we will actually see force at ME in 2010... Would Force play at a construction site which most likely have reduced capcaity then current during construction???
    Quote Originally Posted by jargan83 View Post
    I wonder what the negotiations with the WAFC would resemble for that year
    It is why I was surprised at them announcing to everyone they were moving for 2010, without any agreements, committed expansion plans, funding or time. If they do, it is likely to be at current capacity, which will decimate RugbyWA's cash position and mean that even some of the folk that showed up last year will miss out.

    As an aside, the ground wouldn't be a construction site for 18 months - the project would be that long as things are pre-fabricated etc, but construction would only be a few months. It would be the soccer lads that would feel the brunt of that.

    Quote Originally Posted by jargan83 View Post
    Whilst it isn't the 35,000 that RugbyWA originaly said they needed, it would accomodate all but one of the last years crowds
    Lucky no-one is expecting that the crowds might come back to a rectangular ground...

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    Immortal jargan83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyS View Post
    Lucky no-one is expecting that the crowds might come back to a rectangular ground...
    Well I'm not shooting you down, I reckon that RugbyWA would rather have (should any redevelopment go ahead) 25,000 payed up Members then a falling membership and a falling average attendance. I'm sure that having sold out crowds at MES may get the Gorvernment into gear rather then a dwindling attendance at Subi.

    In a perfect world I would love to see a 35,00 seat stadium. But World Financial crisis, Royalties for Regions (cheers bumpkins) leave the Goverment with little options

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    Player blindsid3's Avatar
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    Funding the Stadium Upgrade – Ticket Levy

    Would you pay a little more to see Rugby the “way it was intended?” . I probably would. What if every ticket purchased for ME Stadium had a $5 upgrade levy attached? Would it stop the Rugby Faithful from coming – probably not. But the result would be:

    Super 14 Season – 21,100 tickets * $5 * 7 games - $738,500
    Trial Games - 18,000 tickets *5 *2 - $210,000

    Perth Glory – 10 games * 8876 (average home crowd 2008/09 season) - $443,800

    7 Concerts p.a. (based on last year) * 20,000 *$5 - $700,000

    Rugby league – 2*NRL games @15,000 crowd - $150,000

    Total - $2,242,000 collected levy.

    This represents a 2.9% “return” which is not huge by investment market standards.

    Would a $10 levy be too much? This would kick in just shy of $4.4M or be a 5.8% “return”.

    Applied over 5 years and 30% of the cost of the stadium has been found. Add the $25M promised by the state government, and we are about $28M short.

    So is your force membership worth an extra $70 bucks per year to move to ME Stadium? But wait, by my maths if the Force are saving $2.0M per annum in rent by moving to ME, that’s about $142 bucks per member (assuming 14,000 members) so if we kick that in the numbers are even better.

    Thoughts?

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